|Leo Yu beats a North Sanpete defender down the sideline in a game this past week.|
A win against Delta could have secured the Dino soccer team its first post season spot, but instead the Rabbits jumped out hard to down the Dinos 7-0 in their final region game of the season. The Dinos dropped their game with Delta last week by the score of 7-0 on Wednesday and then bounced back to shutout Grand 3-0 in their final regular season game.
Tied with North Sanpete at the bottom, the Dinos still had their fate in their hands as they had to meet North Sanpete in a playoff on Monday. In the end, the team ran out of steam as North Sanpete finished them off for the season with a 4-0 win over the Dinos.
Last Wednesday Delta knew that Carbon was coming to try to steal a win. The Rabbits always play a hard, physical game and buoyed by their home crowd and a chance to go 6-o on the season, this was no exception. They stuffed three in the first half. Then to make sure of their victory, they added four more in the second half.
For the Dinos this was their largest margin of defeat since the opening game when Bear River trounced them 10-0.
The team traveled down to Moab to play one final non-region match-up. They have played Grand twice this season and have traded wins. Playing the swing game in their series, the Dinos recovered from their disaster up North and went to work. Scoreless in the first half , the Dinos went on the offensive in the second half and scored all three within about 10 minutes of play.
Jake Malone was back to play goalie and held Grand scoreless throughout the entire game. Leo Yu scored the first of the Carbon goals. Not much later in the game sophomore Cale Samuelson added two quick goals in less than five minutes to secure the win.
The play-off with the North Sanpete Hawks was played at Springville High. Even though the Dinos went into the game with a renewed confidence after the Friday win over Grand, it was North Sanpete that wanted the game more. They were the ones who were able to finish off their drives to get the ball in the net and they did it four times. Coach Jeppson was very frustrated that his team let the Hawks run over them.
The loss ended a season for the Dinos that saw flashes of a good team beginning to show through. "We went from a team that had an eight point differential to one that was averaging two and a half." Jeppson related about the difference between what teams had scored vs. what Carbon had scored. "While we still didn't win that many games, that statistic is a significant indicator of how far we have come." There are many underclassmen returning for next season.
Last year Jeppson had a very young team. This year as they have matured he will only lose a few of his most experienced players. "The kids are excited about next year and the off season conditioning.
They are even trying to come up with enough money to attend a team camp. This is the first time the team has opted to go together to camp and improve as a team that I can remember," he summed things up. "I am excited already for next year. I just hope we can recruit a few big, strong, quick kids to shore up our defense. If we do we will be a region contender for sure."